“Made my son’s day:” Larry Sanders does seemingly small thing that’s huge in the eyes of a boy with cancer

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Former Milwaukee Bucks player Larry Sanders knows what it's like to battle an illness. So when he met a Sheboygan boy battling cancer, he did one seemingly small thing that made the boy feel much better.

You likely saw the video posted to the website "The Players Tribune," in which 26-year-old Larry Sanders explains why he left a promising career in the NBA -- walking away from the Milwaukee Bucks with millions of dollars on the table. Sanders announced he's battling depression and anxiety. His last couple seasons with the Bucks have been marked by controversy and drug suspensions. In the video, Sanders talks about his struggles with happiness, and the pressures of being in the spotlight.

"Happiness is really an internal thing. I know I disappeared for awhile. People wondered where I was. I actually entered into Rogers Memorial Hospital and it was a program for anxiety and depression, mood disorders," Sanders said.

In that video, Sanders was seen wearing a bracelet that reads "Joseph Strong." It's a tribute to a little boy who is undergoing treatment at Children's Hospital for Burkitt's lymphoma.

"It's a rare disease," Luke Lazarewicz said.

It's a disease Lazarewicz's son Joseph is undergoing treatment for at Children's Hospital. Larry Sanders' bracelet was a gift from Joseph.

"Larry visited him at Christmas time," Luke Lazarewicz said.

Three months later, Joseph is celebrating his seventh birthday as he continues to fight his illness. His dad says he's staying strong.

"This is his second time around and he's been a trooper throughout the whole battle. A little cancer is not going to stop Joseph," Luke Lazarewicz said.

Luke Lazarewicz says he's thankful for Larry Sanders' support.

"A couple months out of the limelight -- he's still wearing that bracelet. It made my son's day," Luke Lazarewicz said.

As an added birthday gift, the Milwaukee Bucks gave Joseph an autographed jersey and a basketball.

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